Some Float Unilateral Executive Action
Senate Democrats and President Obama have split over important strategic decisions in the battle to raise the debt ceiling.
Senate Democrats want to increase the nation's borrowing authority for more than a year, taking Congress through the mid-term election.
Obama seemed to undercut them Tuesday afternoon when he said he could support a short-term legislation to fund government and raise the debt limit.
He also embraced attaching a mandated, bipartisan budget process to legislation that would increase the debt ceiling and open the government. That came hours after House Republicans offered legislation that would create a new debt panel, which was quickly panned by congressional Democrats.
At about the same time the president was holding his press conference, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), announced to colleagues his intention to move legislation to authorize more than a year's worth of additional borrowing power.
Speaker John Boehner (R-OH), on Tuesday said he is not interested in a short-term deal. But the fact that Obama left the door open to something Reid doesn't support suggests the White House and congressional Democrats are not completely on the same page.
Congressional Democrats are generally pleased that Reid has been calling the shots. They claim that Obama did not cut a good deal during the last debt-limit debate in 2011.
Now, Obama is front and center again. His press conference with reporters, which lasted more than an hour, was his first since the government shuttered last week.
Senate Democrat Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), has criticized a short-term debt-limit increase as merely lurching to the next crisis...
While administration officials would prefer a longer-term debt-ceiling increase, on Democrat aide noted, Obama said Tuesday he would sign a short-term increase if one came to his desk without any noxious policy riders attached.
Reid's bill would push the debt limit to December 31, 2014.
Some Democrats also disagree with Obama's decision to rule out using authority under Section 4 of the 14th Amendment to raise the debt limit unilaterally.
"I think he should keep that option open," Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) said.
"I've always been supportive the president should keep that as a tool," Sen. Mark Begich (D-AS) said. "It's pretty clear to me in the 14th Amendment that the president has an obligation to make sure our debts are paid. I know there's disagreement, but I think the Constitution is pretty clear on that," he said.
House Democrat Leader Nancy Pelosi (P-CA) has also pressed Obama to reserve the right to increase borrowing authority unilaterally.
"I think the 14th Amendment covers it. The president and I have a disagreement in that regard, I guess," Pelosi told reporters last month. "I would never have taken that off the table."
Obama reiterated on Tuesday that he doesn't believe he has the power to raise the debt limit, adding that litigation about invoking the 14th Amendment would hamper the economy.
READ FULL SOURCE ARTICLE: 10/09/2013
Editor's Note: Make no mistake, the President does not have the authority to unilaterally raise the debt ceiling. Those floating that option as viable are Progressives who loathe the constraints of the US Constitution as a document that limits the authority of the federal government...as the Framers intended.
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